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Old 01 October 2022, 10:49   #21
eXeler0
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How did Atari screw this up? All they had to do was get their prototypes to Ocean and maybe even Team17 before the A1200 and got stock ready for a Christmas 1992 mass launch and they'd have blown the A1200 out of the water! Everyone as it was waited for the A1200 or switched to a PC!

Several things contributed.
Technical: Manufacturing issues early on prevented them to produce meaningful quantities for a launch. They needed som quantities well before Christmas.

Management: There was already a conflict within Atari regarding their future path. Some already shifted focus on the Jaguar. Marketing was also affected + the low availability didnt help. Market something no one can buy yet.

Software: MultiTOS wasnt available at launch. Devs got the machines late, so no nice library of exclusive launch titles.

Price: It was expensive. Maybe not objectively, but what matters is what the consumers perceives.
And when you factor in Atari’s poor marketing and availability of new software, the masses arent going to pay that sort of money. Probably the musicians did, but not not the average joe who took a wait and see approach, and those who waited saw Atari distance themselves more and more from the computer business, going all in on the Jaguar.
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Old 01 October 2022, 12:34   #22
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How did Atari screw this up? All they had to do was get their prototypes to Ocean and maybe even Team17 before the A1200 and got stock ready for a Christmas 1992 mass launch and they'd have blown the A1200 out of the water! Everyone as it was waited for the A1200 or switched to a PC!
On September 16, 1992 aka the "black Wednesday", George Soros won his 10 billion Dollar bet against the Bank of England.

The Bank of England could no longer maintain the previous exchange rate to currencies like D-Mark and subsequently US-Dollar, but had to devalue the Pound.

From almost $2 per Pound down to $1.5 in one day ... meaning selling the Falcon at a reasonable price for Christmas 92 in UK would be selling at a loss.

But this does not explain the stop/delay in the German market (or other European countries)

Looks like someone at Atari was panicking and pushed the red button.
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Old 01 October 2022, 12:49   #23
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Even though the Falcon was objectively more powerful than an Amiga A1200, it wasn't apparent to the average home computer buyer.

I think if early software for the Falcon really used the DSP to show what it could do, then it would have presented a viable "this is why the Falcon is more expensive".

To the average buyer, they didn't see the benefits of the extra hardware, and simply saw that the Amiga A1200 was being instantly supported by all the major software publishers, was cheaper, was available and showed viable differences over A500.

Having better hardware is great, but when you're asking for more money, you MUST show customers why its more expensive.
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Old 01 October 2022, 19:13   #24
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On top of all that, in hindsight, 92-94 was a tough period for a lot of hardware and new platforms. It was the beginning of the end for anything not having strong 3d capabilities. The performance, timing and price of the Playstation really changed the market overnight and the world was never the same again.
With some better planning Atari maybe could have had developers utilize the DSP for 3d calculations. In combination with its chunky mode and the 030 it could have been a clear generational leap over ST. In the end, it probably wouldn't have mattered in the same way it wouldn't haver mattered for commodore if the CD32 came with a 030. PCs were already getting chepaer and and making up for the crappy multimedia capabilities just some years before that.
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Old 01 October 2022, 23:27   #25
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Atari needed DML and his BadMood Doom port, back in 1993. if they'd had that they'd have won, hands down
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Old 01 October 2022, 23:29   #26
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Atari needed DML and his BadMood Doom port, back in 1993. if they'd had that they'd have won, hands down
Atari ran out of money to promote the Falcon 030. It was subsequently removed from the shelves of the shops.
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Old 02 October 2022, 01:14   #27
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Atari needed DML and his BadMood Doom port, back in 1993. if they'd had that they'd have won, hands down
Make Doom before Doom? Sure, that would have... wait a sec... that makes no sense.
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Old 02 October 2022, 11:06   #28
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Well both came out in 1993, but I was more suggesting that the falcon needed a ‘killer app’, and BadMood shows what the falcon is capable of if the cpu dsp and fpu are used in concert
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Old 02 October 2022, 12:43   #29
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Well both came out in 1993, but I was more suggesting that the falcon needed a ‘killer app’, and BadMood shows what the falcon is capable of if the cpu dsp and fpu are used in concert
I doubt the documentation of the DSP etc was good enough. Like the Tom and Jerry chips in the Jaguar the developers couldn't easily make use of the features! At least the A1200 had a faster CPU and was 90% back compatible so the benefits were obvious even without Diggers and Oscar AGA
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Old 02 October 2022, 12:52   #30
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I doubt the documentation of the DSP etc was good enough. Like the Tom and Jerry chips in the Jaguar the developers couldn't easily make use of the features! At least the A1200 had a faster CPU and was 90% back compatible so the benefits were obvious even without Diggers and Oscar AGA

The Motorola 56001 wasn’t new in 1992, it had been around for a few years and for examplr NeXT had been using it for at least 2 years at that point.
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Old 02 October 2022, 12:55   #31
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Alien vs Predator for Jaguar was a killer app. It didn't help much. N64 had two arguably best games ever, yet it got trounced by PSX anyway.

Magic bullets seldom win hardware wars.
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Old 02 October 2022, 14:41   #32
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Alien vs Predator for Jaguar was a killer app. It didn't help much. N64 had two arguably best games ever, yet it got trounced by PSX anyway.

Magic bullets seldom win hardware wars.
What software was available for the Falcon period? What was the ST compatability level? There was a range of issues but documentation, hardware availability and no unique software other than possibly Cubase were definitely some of them.
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Old 02 October 2022, 14:58   #33
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Atari Falcon exact launch date?

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What software was available for the Falcon period? What was the ST compatability level? There was a range of issues but documentation, hardware availability and no unique software other than possibly Cubase were definitely some of them.

I’d say the Falcon was a great computer for musicians and the later ”buy out” from C-Labs in 1995 shows they had a market and some value. In that niche the price was much more attractive compared to the competition.
But for everyone else, mostly ST users looking to upgrade, there was not enough Falcon specific software to justify the price premium.
Unless you dig into the benefits of the DSP the Falcon has mostly the Chunky mode as an advantage over say the at the time cheaper A1200. The 16MHz 030 is as we know somewhat crippled by the design they chose to maintain compatibility with ST software. That alone and the fact that the base model only had 1MB ram…paints a picture to consumers that Falcon isnt gonna fly until later (custom software + waiting for multi tos, so the why not ”wait and see” as a conumer.
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Old 02 October 2022, 15:45   #34
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I think also the problem was Atari itself, they had burned too many bridges by this point.

I'm reminded when the STe was first announced, and you had die hard fans of the ST like Steve Bak, Wayne Smithson and a few others basically not that interested in it because they had to cater to the STfm models as a priority.

When it seems impossible to get the support of those that actually were fans of the system, what chance developers that had either ignored or already moves away from Atari?
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Old 02 October 2022, 23:17   #35
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Several things contributed.
Technical: Manufacturing issues early on prevented them to produce meaningful quantities for a launch. They needed som quantities well before Christmas.

Management: There was already a conflict within Atari regarding their future path. Some already shifted focus on the Jaguar. Marketing was also affected + the low availability didnt help. Market something no one can buy yet.

Software: MultiTOS wasnt available at launch. Devs got the machines late, so no nice library of exclusive launch titles.

Price: It was expensive. Maybe not objectively, but what matters is what the consumers perceives.
And when you factor in Atari’s poor marketing and availability of new software, the masses arent going to pay that sort of money. Probably the musicians did, but not not the average joe who took a wait and see approach, and those who waited saw Atari distance themselves more and more from the computer business, going all in on the Jaguar.
Exactly, I remember well, I was ready to buy one, so I gone to a specialized Atari shop in Paris and it was not available. They had perhaps only one machine which they kept for themself. And the price was high.

Finally the 1200 appeared few time after and I jumped on it.

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The 16MHz 030 is as we know somewhat crippled by the design they chose to maintain compatibility with ST software.
What do you mean? I only know that the Falcon bus is 16 bits. Is it that?
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Old 03 October 2022, 00:36   #36
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——-><8

What do you mean? I only know that the Falcon bus is 16 bits. Is it that?
Well its a full 32bit CPU on a 16 bit data bus, and 24bit adress bus. You gotta wonder why they would do it like that.
Not sure there is one true answer to this, some say the initial design prototype (Sparrow) had a 68000 which would explain 16+24 bit.. As you might know, there were 2 competing designs for what eventually became the Falcon and Sparrow was definitely the one more similar to the ST line, offering greater backward compatibility.
The other design was based around a 040 with a completely new case (which definitely inspired Sony for the PS2 case design btw).
Anyway, long story short, I *think* the Sparrow design with all its limitations around the CPU was chosen because it was cheaper but also more compatible with the existing software catalog.
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Old 03 October 2022, 14:19   #37
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...
Anyway, long story short, I *think* the Sparrow design with all its limitations around the CPU was chosen because it was cheaper but also more compatible with the existing software catalog.
Well - how would a 16-bit data-bus on a 32-bit CPU help with compatibility?
It actually does not.

The 16bit motherboard was probably slightly cheaper ... but surely just by a few bucks and not by a meaningful margin. A1200 has a 32-bit data-bus and was selling a a lower price.

So in the end both competitors limited the power of their newest machines unnecessarily: Atari by using a 16bit design and Commodore by not adding FastRAM.
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Old 03 October 2022, 15:21   #38
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I'd like to see real world computational tests between the A1200's EC 020 with fast ram, and the Falcons 030 and its bus.

I'm going to hedge my bets the A1200 is marginally quicker.
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Old 03 October 2022, 15:29   #39
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Well - how would a 16-bit data-bus on a 32-bit CPU help with compatibility?
It actually does not.

The 16bit motherboard was probably slightly cheaper ... but surely just by a few bucks and not by a meaningful margin. A1200 has a 32-bit data-bus and was selling a a lower price.

So in the end both competitors limited the power of their newest machines unnecessarily: Atari by using a 16bit design and Commodore by not adding FastRAM.

Not the 16-bit bus maybe but the 24-bit address space?
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Old 03 October 2022, 17:57   #40
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I'd like to see real world computational tests between the A1200's EC 020 with fast ram, and the Falcons 030 and its bus.

I'm going to hedge my bets the A1200 is marginally quicker.
Atari-forum had this discussion many years ago:

https://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopi...233141#p233141
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